Rabat - A new documentary explores the Polisario Front’s violation of human rights. Broadcast on the Moroccan channel 2M, the film shows how the Algerian-backed Polisario imprisons and tortures individuals in the Tindouf camps and reveals the involvement of Polisario leader Ibrahim Ghali in these crimes.
Rabat – A new documentary explores the Polisario Front’s violation of human rights. Broadcast on the Moroccan channel 2M, the film shows how the Algerian-backed Polisario imprisons and tortures individuals in the Tindouf camps and reveals the involvement of Polisario leader Ibrahim Ghali in these crimes.
One prisoner, Captain Ali Najab, spent 25 years in captivity. In the film he tells of the dire conditions he had experienced behind bars under the inhumane dominance of the Polisario separatists.
“It’s important to preserve your memories,” he says sitting in his Rabat office, which is decorated by his professional photos recalling his gloomy past.
Najab, who captured along with 3,200 comrades in prison, goes on to say, “It would be a crime to die and disappear without leaving any testimonies of what we lived – what I lived with my comrades – what I did in the South during the war.
“They tied our feet in our backs and tightened our arms with ropes until we started yelling from pain,” says Najab, who was a pilot for Morocco.
Najab, whose captivity lasted from 1978 to 2003, described the cell where he had been suffering from the tyrannical abuse of the Polisario.
“The cell was a half meter large, a meter and a half long. There was no ceiling but there was a metal door,” he says. “In November and December, it would feel so cold, while we only wore light shirts and had our hands tied for 14 days.”
Looking steadily at the lens of the camera Najab recalls the inhumane treatment of those two weeks. “When they came to untie us, they would beat us up, and they would beat us again hard every time, even when they gave us food.”
“It lasted 14 days,” he added. “If it had lasted more I would have lost my hand. Then they took us out and dropped us in cells for 11 months.”
A group of investigators from the association France Liberté published a report in 2003 revealing Polisario’s abuse of Moroccan prisoners of war. In 52 pages, the report shows Polisario’s systematic torture of Moroccans, debunking the separatist movement’s propaganda and revealing the involvement of Algeria in violating human rights.
“Until the 1980s, the guards would whip the prisoners with electric cables when they were being too slow, or just to terrorize them. They were constantly beaten and humiliated,” reads the report.
“In 1997, at least six prisoners made an attempt to escape from the Ghezouani military post. They neutralized their Sahrawi guards and took their weapons. They were caught up by Algerian soldiers who executed them all, including Ali Ould Zouali.”
The Tormentor Ibrahim Ghali
The report also shows the leading perpetrators of torture in the prisons of Tindouf camps. Among the most shown names is Sidi Ahmed Batal, the director of Polisario’s security services, who Najab calls the biggest torturer was under Ghali’s commandment.
“Brahim Ghali came to my cell, looked at me and said: ‘Why is he so skinny?’” said Najab, who explained how Ghali mocked him. “I did not answer [his question].”
Najab went on to talk about the inhumane brutality made by Batal against the prisoners, saying, “Sidi Ahmed Batal tortured with his own hands.”
Starting in August 2013, the truth of the Polisario brutality began to be recognized internationally., when a complaint of genocide and violations of human rights filed against Polisario officials, including Ghali and Mahjoub, was revived at Lincoln at the National Court of Madrid by some Sahrawi victims.
The court’s revival of this file and its notification to the victims indicate that Spanish justice is determined to move forwards against the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in the Tindouf camps.
In November 2016, the Spanish National Court reopened a case against Ghali, on charges of “genocide and crimes against humanity,” giving the Spanish police to do what is necessary to deliver the summons, which calls on him to testify in front of Investigative Court No. 5 with a copy of the complaint lodged against him.